Gnocchi is a form of Italian pasta with its origins in the Middle East and introduced to Italy during the Roman times. Usually made with potato, there is a lot of scope for other ingredients.
Italian food guru Gennaro Contaldo has created a very entertaining video about how he makes this delicious type of pasta. If you don’t have one already, take his advice and buy a potato ricer. They really are necessary to get the lightest fluffiest gnocchi. As with other mashed potato dishes, they are best prepared with starchy potatoes to keep a light texture.
While commonly made with potatoes, variations are possible and very much part of gnocchi’s heritage. In fact, according to the International Potato Center, using potato is a relatively recent innovation, appearing about the 16th century.
From the photo you will deduce that I have deviated from standard potato recipe. As sweet potatoes are much more healthy than normal potatoes, I used 400g potatoes, 400g sweet potatoes, plus about 200g of carrots, which added an interesting colour component.
Another variation I tried was beetroot and ricotta gnocchi. The texture was very different, not so fluffy, but so delicious. And for more of Gennaro, I was very much inspired by him for this Gnocchi Al Forno.
- 1 kg potatoes
- 4 egg yolks
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Boil or roast the potatoes (skin ountil soft. Allow the cool then remove the skins.
- Using a ricer (or masher or folmash the potatoes, but keep them aerated. Allow to cool.
- Lightly whisk the egg yolks, parmesan, nutmeg, and seasoning
- Form a well in the middle of the cooled potato
- Pour the whisked egg yolk mixture into the well, and combine by hand
- Sprinkle a cup of flour over the mixture and continue to knead to combine
- Add more flour and knead. Probably only need another half cup.
- The combining and kneading should only take 3 minutes or so. Do not over-knead.
- Cut off about a 1/8 of the dough and roll into a cylinder of of 15mm in diameter
- Cut cylinder into 1cm sections to give the final gnocchi shape
- You can shape the gnocchi further using a fork to make some grooves, depends on how much time you have.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a sprinkling of salt.
- Add the gnocchi to the boxing water
- When individual pieces of gnocchi rise to the top, they are cooked. Scoop them out of the water with a slotted spoon.